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March 02nd 2009 print

Olivia Byard

A Good Space

A Good Space

(AA Open Meeting)

Of course, I begin by saying

I’m not an alcoholic.

                  Having established

difference, I slip off my shoes

under the harsh lights of this

municipal hall, the people around me

with similar threaded years of

struggle and fear, shunting stop-

starts; able to laugh at themselves.

                        Minute by minute,

day by day, they wrestle their demons;

make it here sometimes just

to sit mute.

           If you created a religion

you could do worse than this:

all welcome, no questions asked;

a working doctrine of self-help.

                           Christ would be

at home here if he were alive today,

away from the diktats and discord

of Churches:

                  to where people lay down

burdens, pick them up again, lighter.